Shipwrecked stocks stabilize somewhat this morning but the comatose economy is eating our young

Just when things seemed darker than Johnny Cash’s closet, the U.S. stock market hasn’t been a disaster so far today. The Dow was trading less than 1 percent lower at midmorning.

But fears of a Greek default — and just where is Zorba when you need him? — continue to create more anxiety than Alfred Hitchcock once did.

Of course, looking at Thursday’s coyote-ugly economic numbers was enough to turn your eyes into lumps of coal.

Rising fear that the world is headed toward a global economic slowdown/meltdown had investors hitting the sell button so violently yesterday they developed blisters on their forefingers.

U.S. stocks plunged like Mexican cliff divers Thursday, closing down 390 points, or 3.5 percent, after hitting their lowest point this year.

At one point the Dow was down more than 5 percent and dropped as much as 527 points late in the trading session.

At this point, just talking about this fiscal apocalypse tastes like Drano in my mouth. At this rate I hope I still have enough money in my investments to buy a cigarette and a blindfold.

For young American adults, there is no rainbow in sight because they’re going blind with poverty.

Their unemployment rate is the highest since World War II, and they risk living in poverty more than others — nearly 1 in 5.

It seems the only way this lost generation can find themselves is to become pro athletes, singers, rock guitarists or reality TV stars.

Are Republicans a bunch of predators?

Those who follow politics like Joe Willie Namath use to follow blondes may have noticed that Republicans make Democrats want to stab two fondue forks deep into their ears and stir.

Granted, the feeling likely is mutual.

Still, there are times I sense that Republicans can be obstructionists. In fact, I suspect that they’re the leading cause of Tylenol sales in America today.

Whenever President Obama and the Democrats try to do something to keep the economy from getting a toe tagged at the morgue, they catch a javelin in the groin. And it’s the GOP flinging it.

Case in point: The Republican BIG Four — John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Eric Cantor and Jon Kyl — sent a letter to Fed chair Ben Bernanke warning him against further intervention in the economy. They released the letter the day before the Fed is to announce its next steps this afternoon.

“We have serious concerns,” the letter said, “that further intervention by the Federal Reserve could exacerbate current problems or further harm the U.S. economy.”

What they really meant, of course, is that they have serious concerns that an interventionist monetary policy might help the economy in the next 14 months, and thereby help Barack Obama’s reelection chances.

Par for the course, I might add. All along the Repubs have been throwing up more roadblocks than PennDOT, ensuring that the federal government can’t do anything via legislation to spur economic growth and activity.

Yes, the Dems need to take pruning shears to federal spending. And yes, the rich do pay most of the taxes. But the GOP can’t keep going above and beyond self-serving insanity to tank the economy just so that Obama gets dumped next year.

Is it just me or does all this sound like 100,000 yaks getting sick?

Is Michele Bachmann dead meat?

Every picture tells a story, according to noted philosopher Rod Stewart.

A picture is worth a thousand words, according to designers everywhere who work with verbose copywriters.

So I will be brief in merely saying that this photo of Michele Bachmann touring an Iowa meat packing plant just might pack in her presidential run. No way she gets the vegetarian vote now.

After all, we all remember how absurd Michael Dukakis looked in a tank and helmet and how silly John Kerry looked in a space suit. As I recall, neither of them became president.

The moral of the story: For a candidate, image is more important than breathing.

Attention, class! Obama's proposed millionaire's tax to help slice the deficit not exactly a yawner

President Obama curled the toes of Republicans and millionaires across America today. Hopefully most of them were wearing flip-flops at the time.
Obama formally announced — can it be formal if he wasn’t wearing a tux and top hat? — a package that cuts $3 trillion off the deficit, saying that it’s not class warfare, it’s math, to generate new revenue to solve the budget crisis.
His proposal would establish a minimum tax rate on millionaires to avoid loopholes, and would make cuts to entitlements and Pentagon spending. Obama said the bill would cut $2 in government spending for every $1 in new revenue.
“We can’t cut our way out of this hole,” he said, adding that there ain’t no chainsaw big enough.
Of course, the de facto millionaire’s tax known as the Buffett Rule is a dragon that will have John Boehner and friends wielding broadaxes to fight.
To us poor folk, asking those with more to pay more is only fair. To the rich folk, such a concept is an utter abomination.
Can’t say that I blame the wealthy. If I were richer than King Farouk, I would dip all us poor folk in seal butter and drop us into a polar bear’s cage rather than put a kink in my opulent lifestyle.

Bloody Sunday: Falcons KO Vick, Eagles

The Eagles and the Falcons teed it up Sunday night in Atlanta and it was a game for body bags. Try as they might to legislate the violence out of the NFL, it still is a blood sport.

To say that both teams played a physical game is like saying the Gestapo played 20 Questions.

The Eagles, trailing by 11 early in the third quarter, scored 21 consecutive points during an eight-minute stretch in that period on a 36-yard Michael Vick TD pass to Jeremy Maclin (13 catches for a career-high 171 yards but a killer drop in the dying moments) and two Shady McCoy (18 carries for 95 yards) touchdown runs to take a 10-point lead into the final quarter.

But then the guy who was ahead at poker ended up bumming cab money home. The Eagles took it on the chin 35-31.

Vick got knocked out of the game with an aching neck and concussion and you didn’t have to be Nostradamus to see that coming. The guy gets hit more than a piñata. Deep in the third quarter Vick was thrown to the turf, got whipped around and his head collided with his right tackle, Todd Herremans. Vick got knocked out by a barroom left you could see coming all the way from Blandon.

The Eagles’ D, so ferocious much of the game, faded like a sick flower in the final quarter as Matty Ice Ryan froze them with his chilling right arm.

Now where for the 1-1 Eagles? Like always, doubts about Vick’s durability follow him and them like a shadow.

For Obama, this time hope and change mean a warmer day for his next inauguration

Things pretty much have gone into the crapper for Barack Obama of late, but the prez retains his blimpo confidence.
For instance, he echoed a supporter’s wish “that my next inauguration is warmer than the last one.”
Of course, many Republicans look back at Obama’s last inauguration as a cold day in hell.
Obama bringing this up at this juncture just may be dumber than asking your wife why she’s putting on weight.
Granted, Obama has a valid point when he says that “there’s one thing I know for certain: The odds of me being reelected are much higher than the odds of me being elected in the first place.”
Unlike Charlie Sheen, the president isn’t totally disconnected from reality and knows what’s blowing in the wind.
“I know that over the last couple of months there have been Democrats who voiced concerns and nervousness about, well, in this kind of economy,” he related, “aren’t these just huge headwinds in terms of your reelection? But we remain very confident about our ability to win a contest of ideas in 2012.”
After all, Dopey the Dwarf likely could match wits with either Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann.

You can throw the book at Joe McGinniss for victimizing Sarah Palin

Once upon a time Joe McGinniss was a respected columnist and author.
But that was then and this is now. Old age or termites or both must have feasted on his brain cells because he has been reduced to a salacious gossip.
McGinniss’ new book, The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin, does a hatchet job on her and that reeks worse than elephant dung.
As you know, I’m not a big fan of seeing Palin sit in the White House. No matter. She certainly doesn’t deserve to have McGinniss rake up old allegations.
Recycling lurid stories about what politicians might or might not have done in their youth definitely is an unnecessary cheap shot. Granted, I know sleaze sells. Which is why we have Murdoch, But that doesn’t make it right.
OK, perhaps Palin wasn’t a saint back in the day. Few of us were.
Just because Palin has become wrapped in the white gauze of the spotlight is no reason for McGinniss to strip her past naked.
I guess McGinniss has to be without sin since he cast a stone at her.